Aid Agencies: Peace is Possible in Sudan -- The Time Is Now
The IRC and three other leading aid agencies operating in Sudan released a joint statement yesterday commending former Sen. John Danforth's call for a negotiated end to the 19-year civil war, with the U.S. facilitating the process. Danforth, who was named special envoy to Sudan last fall by President Bush, delivered his report to the White House on Tuesday. Ambassador Robert Oakley, a member of the IRC board, served as Danforth's deputy in the effort to bring an end to the drawn-out conflict. In endorsing the special envoy's report, the IRC and its sister agencies offered the following recommendations:
- That the confidence-building measures already agreed upon by the warring parties be fully implemented and monitored by the international community;
- that recent progress quickly lead to an expanded but convergent peace process that engages all parties to the conflict, regional actors, and key members of the international community.
- that the achievement of a just and sustainable peace must be the centerpiece of any Sudan policy, and that President Bush ask the Secretary of State to take leadership of this effort, and
- that the U.S. along with key actors in the conflict and the international community commit to engagement in Sudan that is long term, well coordinated and adequately funded.
George Biddle, the IRC's acting president, said, "The IRC strongly endorses Senator Danforth's position that the progress made toward ending the civil war in Sudan must be pursued while there is momentum for peace."
The joint statement was also signed by Care, Save the Children and World Vision.